Feature Foto #7: Yosakoi Matsuri

The topic of this Feature Foto post is a style of dance called よさこい (Yosakoi). It has only been practiced as a dance form since the 1950s, but is a modernisation of a much older, traditional Japanese summer dance.

Every summer, people get together within their community to put a dance performance together, featuring clothing and symbols from their home neighbourhood, set to modern music. Each group of performers choreographs and practices their routines and then assembles together to take part in a huge celebration to present their performances at Yosakoi Matsuri which takes place in different places in Japan. This photo was taken at the スーパーよさこい祭 (Super Yosakoi Matsuri) held on the beautiful grounds of 明治神宮 (Meiji Shrine) in Tokyo. This particular dance troupe playfully calls themselves Baka Tokyo (Foolish Tokyo). I really liked the excitement and energy that I captured in this picture, which is why I chose it for this post.

Aside from the awesome dances, costumes and music that makes this colourful event so much fun, there is also an abundance of vendors selling delicious food, treats and drinks. One of the top selling snacks on this day was the cold and fluffy shave ice, mainly because the Super Yosakoi Matsuri takes place in August, and it must have been over 91˚F / 32˚C outside, with 95% humidity under a cloudless sky! I was sweating profusely just watching the show; I can't image what the performers must have felt.

Despite the intense heat, going to Super Yosakoi Matsuri was SO much fun and I think it's something that should not be missed!

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